“Blizzard severely miscalculated how their fans would respond,” said Cowen and Company to investors.
Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo didn’t have the hottest weekend. Diablo Immortal for mobile phones was revealed at BlizzCon 2018 and met with a strong amount of backlash. While Blizzard did expect some amount of this, it probably didn’t envision shares for Activision Blizzard dropping when the New York Stock Exchange opened yesterday.
According to The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Needleman on Twitter, stock value dropped by roughly 7 percent and closed at $64.34 (current value is at $64.52). Previously, stock value was at $68.99. Research firm Cowen and Company told investors in a recent note (via GameSpot), “Blizzard severely miscalculated how their fans would respond, which suggests they aren’t in touch with their players as maybe they should be.”
The firm also posited that making money with Diablo Immortal could be difficult, simply because the Western market functions differently in regards to additional payments. Of course, we don’t yet know if the mobile title will be free to play or premium. Blizzard has yet to confirm how the monetization model will work, especially with free updates and the like promised.
Cowen and Company further stated that a tease for the next big Diablo sequel might have helped Blizzard avoid all these headaches. Recent reports (which were later rectified) by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier indicate that a video with Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham discussing the next Diablo was recorded. Whether this was meant to be showcased at BlizzCon 2018 or not, Blizzard insists that it didn’t pull any announcements from the show.
— Sarah E. Needleman (@saraheneedleman) November 6, 2018